Art and science do not come together that often. Art is usually distant from consumers – we can only see or hear it from a distance, while science requires full involvement. Now, however, art and science came together to create a very interesting exhibit, called ROBOBBLE, which now is displayed in the gallery of Carpenter Hall at Washington State University.
ROBOBBLE is said to combine the fields of interior design, architecture, art, computer science and robotic engineering. In short – it is an interactive foam-making installation. It is a spherical core, which looks something like a dandelion seed head, covered in spandex fabric shell. Viewers of this art piece can actually interact with the installation – inside of the core there are microcontrollers that sense instructions from viewers’ smartphones and respond by moving the projecting arms and panels of the core.
This technology allows the ROBOBBLE to shift its form, grow bigger and change completely from its resting state. In fact, fully expanded installation is 2.5 times bigger than its resting size. Visitors of the exhibition can interact with the art piece through a smartphone application or by simply touching the ROBOBBLE – this is a very rare kind of art that is inviting people to touch it rather than forbidding it.
Creators of the ROBOBBLE say that their goal is to demonstrate new ways of bridging the digital and physical worlds. Marcus Blaisdell, one of the creators of the ROBOBBLE, said: “The app works to perform basic movements such as push, pull and extend. Audiences can select an arm on the ROBOBBLE core and they can extend it or retract it”.
Team hopes to continue showing ROBOBBLE in different fairs and exhibitions. And they are even going to improve it. They want to make it even more responsive and interactive, by enhancing to touch, light and sound. We can only hope to see more of science and art collaborations in the future.